I‘ve been lucky to visit some of the best places to see in Korea these last two years. One of my main goals in moving to the countryside was to see the rest of this country. If someone talked about a town or site in Korea, I wanted to know exactly what and where they were talking about.
As a tribute to one of my favorite little countries, I thought I’d round up a huge list of all the incredible places to visit in Korea, 100 to be exact. Even I haven’t been able to see all of them! Some I’ve come across from blogging friends’ photos and, they’re on my list for a future return trip.
How many of these places in Korea have you visited? Read on to see!
100 Best Places to See in Korea
1. Andong Hahoe Village | Andong Folk Village
One of the best places in Korea to see traditional housing, Andong Folk Village is surrounded by Nakdong river. Of all the historical villages, it’s one of the best preserved… Read More
2. Baemsagol Valley in Jirisan | Baemsagol Valley in Mt. Jiri
One of my favorites for a fall hike, this is definitely a bit more intense and will take you the whole day to complete… Read More
3. Baraebong in Jirisan | Barae Peak in Mt. Jiri | Barae Peak in Jiri Mountain
If you want to see miles of Royal Azaleas, this fairly easy hike is perfect in mid-spring.
4. Bijindo | Bijin Island
It’s easy to forget that Korea is a peninsula with hundreds of islands off its southern coast that could rival Halong Bay for their beauty. Bijindo is particularly known for its bikini top shape… Read More
5. Bongeunsa | Bongeun Temple
This temple dates all the way back to 794 and is right in the heart of Seoul. It’s a good temple if you wish to experience a Korean temple stay.
6. Boriam Temple
Located cliffside in Namhae, this temple creates a beautiful match to the sea. It’s a bit of a trek to get to and there are a lot of stairs.
7. Boseong Green Tea Fields
One of my favorite places in Korea, you can spend all day roaming through (and up) these tea fields. Climb to the top for a view of the sea… Read More
8. Bukhansan | Mt. Bukhan | Bukhan Mountain
The tallest mountain closest to Seoul, this is also one of our favorite spots for fall foliage. Check it out here… Read More
9. Bukchon Hanok Village
Get lost in this village near Gyeongbokgung and find one of the many observatories for a view all the way to Namsan Tower on a clear day. If you want a good place for the sunset in Seoul, this is one of the best.
10. Bulguksa | Bulguk Temple
Built in 528, Bulguksa is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest temples in Korea. It’s a representative image of Gyeongju and the Silla Dynasty.
11. Byeonsanbando National Park | Byeonsanban Island National Park
12. Changdeokgung + Huwon | Changdeok Palace + the Secret Garden
One of the four main palaces, Chandeokgung’s defining characteristic is its secret garden, once used for as a place of rest for royals during the Joseon dynasty.
13. Cheonjiyeon Waterfall
One of Jeju’s defining characteristics is its waterfalls, and at 22m high, the best one to see in Cheonjiyeon down near Seogwipo.
14. Chiaksan National Park | Mt. Chiak National Park | Chiak Mountain National Park
Named after a Korean legend where a man saves a pheasant from a snake and in turn, the pheasant saves the man later, Chiaksan is more known for its longer hikes (the shortest is 9 km). Head here in late September to mid-October to catch the autumn leaves.
15. Chuam Chotdaebwai | Candlestick Rock
The story has it that this rock represents a man who lost both his wife and his concubine because they fought so much a god struck them dead. The man just sat in sadness and turned into this rock. I know… Either way rocky terrain and clear blue of the northern part of the sea is breathtaking even in the dead cold of late November.
16. Dadohaehaesang National Park
The largest of all the national parks, Dadohaehaesang is comprised of thousands of tiny islands along the southern coast. It’s also the setting for many of Korea’s most famous admiral, Yi Sun Shin’s, wartime achievements.
17. Daedunsan Provincial Park | Mt. Daedun Provincial Park | Daedun Mountain Provincial Park
Wanju, Jeollabukdo + Nonsan, Chuncheongnamdo
This one’s known for its red suspension bridge. When I went it was rainy and foggy, so you could barely see in front of you let alone your surroundings. Made for a fun walk across… Read More
This is where one of my schools was at, and it was honestly the most stunning bus ride I’ve ever taken. At least once a week for nearly two years, I rode by this mountain and river, and each season brings something new. Fall it’s a road full of color, in winter, it’s its own wonderland, in spring cherry blossoms are everywhere, and in summer everything is lush and green. If you’re in Namwon and want a break from hiking, get a bike and find the trail to get here. I believe you can camp as well.
19. Daewangam Park
Ulsan is mostly an incredibly industrial city, so it’s a lovely contrast to get off at Ilsan Beach and climb through this park. As you go, you might even see a kitty or two wandering around!
20. Deoksugung Ddoldam-gil
Check out this lovely song from Yoona that showcases both Deoksugung and the nearby road. It’s an idyllic place when tents aren’t set up around it.
21. Deogyusan Ski Resort | Mt. Deogyusan Ski Resort | Deogyu Mountain Ski Resort
One of the best places for skiing in winter, head out to Muju and the beautiful area around it. I didn’t get to go skiing, but I stayed nearby for the Muju Firefly Festival (not recommended by the way) and it was beautiful even without the snow!
22. Dolsando | Dolsan Island
The Hedgers took me to the park to watch the sunset over Yeosu, and it’s easily one of the best views of the city. Watch the sun go down and then watch the main bridge put on a bit of a light show. You can spend the day on the island exploring all other parts as well… Read More
23. Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Designed by the late Zaha Hadid and home to Seoul’s fairly new fashion week, DDP represents and celebrates the growing creativity of Korea’s newer generations. Go to one of the nearby shopping skyscrapers and take an elevator up to see a bird’s eye view.
24. Donggung and Wolji | Dong Palace and Wol Pond
During the Silla dynasty, Donggung was the secondary palace and used for visitors and big events. It’s beautiful especially in late spring and summer when the lotus flowers are in full bloom.
25. Dreamy Camera Café
This is probably going require a good day trip from Seoul to see, so bring a good book, some work, or a good pal. This café is more than a café, it’s mean to help you relax and learn to dream.
26. Duryu Park
A mix of industry and traditional architecture, this is a great place to enjoy an otherwise bustling city.
27. Enrogel Teapot Café
It’s a café shaped like a teapot! Even more in the middle of nowhere than the Dreamy Camera Café, this one is best if you’re planning a road trip… Read more
28. Gamcheon Culture Village
Hands down my ultimate favorite in Korea. I’ve been to this colorful village three times in my two years and loved it every time. Read here about its history and what it aims to do today… Read More
29. Garden of the Morning Calm
A play on one of Korea’s nicknames, “Land of the Morning Calm,” this garden helps spread Korea’s natural beauty. It’s the oldest private garden in the country.
30. Geojedo | Geoje Island
One of Korea’s largest islands, Geoje is one of the best places to enjoy the South Sea. If you’re doing a road trip, combine with Tongyeong.
31. Gokseong Rose Garden
Gokseong’s famous rose garden is within its train village, and come May the whole area is bursting with fresh blooms… Read More
32. Guinsa | Guin Temple
As soon as I saw the Hedgers’ photos of this temple, I knew it would be a must-see upon returning to Korea. As someone who’s seen a ton of temples spread out through Korea, this is definitely one of the most unique ones I’ve yet to come across… Read More
Gurye is one of the best countryside escapes. I spent my first Christmas at the Hanok Pension and saw the best sunset I’ve seen in Korea. It’s beautiful for fall, and for some temple hiking… Read More
This is the setting to Korea’s most famous love story, Chunhyangjeon, and is gorgeous no matter what season. I loved walking through here after school. One of my favorite memories was running over here to see the area covered in freshly fallen snow last winter with some friends.
35. Gwangju Art Museum
While the museum is lovely, it’s really the area around it that’s interesting. I went when it was raining, but there is an open park and a little amusement park nearby that looks gorgeous with cherry blossoms all in bloom. There’s an unsafe looking ride you go on to get really up close to the blooms.
36. Gyeongbokgung | Gyeongbok Palace
Korea’s main palace, consider this the most defining remain of the Joseon Dynasty. It’s massive and just gets more beautiful the farther you go back…. Read More
37. Gyeongpo Beach
This beach up north is a great summer escape and is a unique blend of beach and culture.
38. Gyeryongsan | Mt. Gyeryong | Gyeryong Mountain
This gorgeous hike will hit all the big sites to see in Korean mountains (temples, waterfalls, and peaks). When I saw it on Bobo + Chichi’s site, I was most struck by Donghaksa, a temple used mostly for female Buddhists. Interestingly, one of the roofs they pictured has a mostly yellow color whereas I usually see the signature green…Read More
39. Haedong Yonggungsa | Haedong Yonggung Temple
I’m still so bummed I missed seeing this temple in person! This temple is seaside and built into the cliffs and looks amazing in every photo I’ve ever seen. There are also multiple dagobas spread out.
40. Haeinsa | Haein Temple
Located in Gayasan National Park, Haeinsa is one of Korea’s “Three Temple Jewels” along with Tongdosa and Songgwangsa. It’s considered the main temple for Korean Buddhism teachings and houses over 80,000 wooden printing blocks or scripture. Combine it with a hike around Gayasan for some nature as well.
41. Haeundae | Haeun Beach
Yes, this beach is crazy popular all the time, and I’d avoid it like the plague during the summer. However, it is beautiful, and seeing the first sunset of 2016 with Elissa and her sister was an easy highlight.
42. Hajodae | Hajo Beach
If you’re traveling and want a truly isolated experience, check out Hajo Beach… Read More
43. Hallasan National Park | Mt. Halla National Park | Halla Mountain National Park
Top of my list for when I go back to Jeju. I’d like to dedicate a day to hiking the whole mountain. It’s one of Korea’s three main mountains and the tallest.
44. Hallyeohaesang National Marine Park
Sacheon, Geoje, Tongyeong, Hadong, + Namhae, Gyeongsangnamdo + Yeosu, Jeollanamdo
This sea park covers most of the southern coast and is best seen from Namhae.
45. Hansando | Hansan Island
An important naval base during the Joseon dynasty, Hansando pays tribute to Yi Sun Shin and provides a beautiful seascape. The ferry from Tongyeong is fairly short, and make sure to get the pajeon on your way to the shrine!
46. Heyri Art Village
This colorful village is one I wish I could have made it to… Read More
47. Hwagae Cherry Blossom Road
This was one of those random trips I went on that I’m so happy I did. Four kilometers of cherry blossoms and it all turns to colorful foliage in autumn. Definitely a must see. Just make sure you get there early in the morning because it will get crowded… Read More
48. Hyeopjae Beach
I only got to spend an afternoon here, but it was seriously lovely and the perfect first stop on my Jeju tour. If you can, stay in a storage container Airbnb and try the best pizza ever at Donatos. Hang out on the beach for sunset. I thought it was beautiful, but my hostel host said it was actually cloudy that day, so I can’t imagine how amazing it would be with a clear sky!
49. Ihwa Mural Village
A very cheerful village in Seoul, it’s a great afternoon trip and less touristy than other places… Read More
50. Jeju Stone Park
Inspired by Jeju’s historical connection with stones and the myth of one of its goddesses, Grandmother Seolmundae, this park has numerous creations spread out and makes for a lovely stroll.
Located in the mountains, you’ll have the best scenery for when you work up the nerve to take the 300 ft. high zip line at 60 km/hr (37 mph) across the area! After seeing these photos, I know I’m going back here even if it takes the whole day to organize… Read More
52. Jeonju Hanok Village
Personally, this is my favorite hanok village of them all. A little more enclosed than Bukchon, walk around and stay overnight for a full hanok experience. The pace is a bit slower and less crowded than its Seoul counterparts.
53. Jeonju Art Village
A friend recommended this before I left, and I just never had the chance to go. I’ve seen photos and it looks so lovely, and she told me she liked it even more than Gamcheon! I’ll definitely have to compare when I return.
54. Jeongdong Observatory
Head to this observatory for a full, overhead view of Deoksugung (Deoksu Palace). Grab a coffee in the café and relax by the window.
55. Jindo | Jin Island
Most famous for its sea parting festival each year where you can quite literally walk through water. My friend went and said it was worth the super early start. It’s also where the Jindo dog originated from (check out my friend, Roxy’s super cute jindo, Shadow).
56. Jinhae’s Gyeonghwa Station
Easily Korea’s most popular cherry blossom festival, it’s flooded with visitors near and far who want to capture the 1.5 kilometers of trees. Nicole went last year and said it was hectic but gorgeous… Read More
57. Jinju Lantern Festival (Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival)
Jinju is a fairly quiet countryside city, but its biggest event is the Lantern Festival. Everyone I know who’s gone said it’s stunning… Read More
58. Juwangsan National Park | Mt. Juwang National Park | Juwang Mountain National Park
Juwangsan’s biggest claim to fame is that it is the rumored location of Silla’s King Juwon after turning Silla over the Goryeo. Sprinkled with waterfalls, hermitages, and temples, it’s a fantastic place for a historical hike. At 721m, it’s also the smallest national park!
Korea’s own bamboo forest, Juknokwon is slightly uphill and quite expansive (much bigger than you think when starting!)
60. Petite France
While it’s designed to look like France (as imagined in the Little Prince), it’s truly a Korean take on the country. Step inside a colorful storybook village come to life. If you like Korean dramas, you’ll recognize it from “Secret Garden” or “He Who Came from the Stars.”
61. Maisan Provincial Park | Mt. Mai Provincial Park | Mai Mountain Provincial Park
Legend has it that this mountain, a little outside of Jeonju, was formed when two gods and their child were trying to go back up to the sky but were caught by a village woman and stuck on earth forever. The mountain is known for two curious things: its pagodas made of piles of stones that never break or sway and the fact that you can throw water up from a bowl in winter and it will freeze into a bowl. It’s another place I need to go for sure!
62. Metasequoia Roads
Damyang, Jeollanamdo or Chuncheon, Gangwondo
These beautiful, tall trees create a stunning pathway. While often times they will be a bit crowded, they’re well worth seeing in person. You can head down to Damyang and bike there from the park or make the road a stop on your trip to Nami Island near Seoul. If you’re a K-drama fan you’ll recognize the trees from the classic, “Winter Sonata.”
63. Meta Provence
A colorful village inspired by Provence, France (with a decidedly Korean filter) and near the Metasequoia Road, Meta Provence is a colorful, storybook village. Walk around the colorful buildings, take fun photos, and enjoy this fun place in the middle of the countryside.
64. Mireuksan | Mt. Mireuk | Mireuk Mountain
Take a cable car or hike up this mountain near Tongyeong and get a gorgeous view of all the islands and the city from afar.
65. Mudeungsan National Park | Mt. Mudeung National Park | Mudeung Mountain National Park
Hwasun, Damyang, + Gwangju, Jeollanamdo
Mudeungsan, the newest national park, makes for a great fall hike, especially as the grass starts to brown. It also is home to hexagonal rocks that date back to over 70 million years ago. Another hike I need to try (or I might be lazy and use the cable cars to another area of the mountain instead :p)… Read More
66. Naesosa | Naeso Temple
This is where I had my temple stay. Nestled in the mountains, it’s a very quiet escape (though I didn’t find the temple stay particularly relaxing…) and taking a small nearby hike lets you see it from above.
67. Naejangsan | Mt. Naejang
The best place to see fall foliage is Naejangsan hands down. Take a cable car up over the trees (the windows are open and if you take a video, people will wonder if you’re using a drone!) and see the whole mountain covered in color… Read More
68. Naksan Beach | Mt. Nak Beach | Nak Mountain Beach
Beautiful sand, a pine forest, and the East Sea’s characteristically blue water make this an escape I wish I had seen in person! I swear I’m gonna get my international license and learn how to camp in a tent so I can experience places like this more…. Read More
69. Nami Island
Technically this charming island is called “The Naminara Republic” because it declared itself an independent nation whose main export is imagination. While it was incredibly crowded when I went, it was beautiful. There are tributes to “Winter Sonata’s” famous snowman scene everywhere, but what I loved was the long row of gingko trees in all their bright yellow glory.
70. Namsan Tower | Mt. Nam Tower | Nam Mountain Tower
One of Seoul’s most iconic features, this tower gives you a view of the whole city from afar. Bring your significant other and add a lock to the many others (unlike Paris, it’s encouraged here) in tribute of love.
71. Namsangol Hanok Village | Mt. Nam Valley Hanok Village
On your way down from visiting Namsan Tower, make a detour to this quieter hanok village. Less crowded, you’ll dodge some of the crowds at Bukchon and have a beautiful view of the tower from below.
72. Namwon’s Baby Peak (Aegibong)
Across the river from Gwanghallu in Namwon, you can climb up for a very easy, small hike and get a view of the city of love from above.
73. Odaesan National Park | Mt. Odae National Park | Odae Mountain National Park
Located in Pyeongchang, home to the 2018 Winter Olympics, Odaesan is best known for its main temple, Woljeongsa, and for being home to Korea’s largest natural woods.
74. Odongdo | Odong Island
This island is accessible via a short bridge walk and gives the loveliest view of Yeosu’s skyline.
75. O’sulloc Tea Fields
In the southwest of Jeju, head to these famed green tea fields and walk around the rows and rows of green tea plants. You can try some green tea products in their café, though it was incredibly crowded when I went, or head to Innisfree’s Jeju Café. Get the Hallabong Blender, it’s my favorite!
76. Odusan Unification Observatory
Head to this observatory to see into North Korea… Read More
77. Penis Parks
Seomcheok, Gangwondo, Jeju, etc
Ahhhh penis parks. For a country that’s so conservative, it’s banned porn, you’d be surprised to know there’s not only one, but two parks filled with penis and sex positions. The biggest ones are Loveland in Jeju and Haesindang Park in Seomcheok, but there are smaller penis attractions spread out through the country (my friend went to a sort of exhibit in Namwon with none other than her older, super Christian co-teacher…). Apparently, Loveland was created to help newlywed couples learn about sex on their honeymoons and Haesindang was built to appease the ghost of a virgin…
78. Pocheon Art Valley
This quirky art valley is in a rock quarry filled with different sculptures set against a gorgeous natural backdrop. When I say quirky, I mean one of the sculptures is an igloo made of empty makgeolli bottles… Read More
79. Saryangdo | Saryang Island
One of Korea’s three main mountains, this is the furthermost north, and it’s stunning. I went on a cold November day when everything was pretty much dead, and it was still amazing.
81. Seokchon Lake Park
This lovely lake is right near Lotte World. It’s especially beautiful when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
82. Seongsan IlchulBong| Mt. Seong Sunrise Peak
A fairly short hike up, and you can get a gorgeous view even if you miss the sunrise or sunset! This is also where you can find Hanyeo, the awesome women divers who are all around 40 or older. I was bummed I missed their performance by 30 minutes!
83. Seoul Grand Park
This massive park right in the middle of Seoul makes a fun trip, especially if you want to take the ski lift around. It has two different zoos, gardens, and a forest park all within this nearly billion square miles of space… Read More
84. Sinbulsan | Mt. Sinbul | Sinbul Mountain
This mountain near Ulsan is great if you want to see the silver grass in all it’s glory. I found out about it after the fact, but now I know where I’m returning! I love looking at silver grass. There’s something wildly peaceful about it.
85. Sobaeksan National Park | Mt. Sobaek | Sobaek Mountain
Sobaeksan is particularly gorgeous for wildflowers and azaleas in the spring and summer. You can also see some of the most stunning waterfalls in the province, and it’s where Guinsa (#32) is.
86. Songnisan National Park | Mt. Songni National Park | Songni Mountain National Park
This gorgeous mountain is gorgeous all year round. It’s home to one of Korea’s largest temples, Beopjusa.
This is a lovely mountain for a fall hike. My friend went with her students and took the loveliest photo of fall leaves. With deep valleys, high peaks, and waterfalls, it makes for a lovely, fairly easy hike in the countryside.
88. Suncheon Bay
Walk through a field of reeds and up a mountain to get a gorgeous view of this coastal wetland. The bay is over 8,000 years old and home to a variety of species and has managed to escape much of the pollution from Korea’s quick build up in the last six decades.
89. Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress
Nearly six kilometers long, this stone fortress is adorned with signature traditional style battle stations and entrances… Read More
90. Taebaeksan National Park| Mt. Taebaek | Taebaek Mountain
It’s a relatively high, but it’s an easy hike since it has few cliffs and is smooth all around. It’s also home to a really fun snow festival… Read More
91. Taeanhaean National Park
This park is made up of 130 beautiful islands around Anmyeondo and Taean Peninsula.
92. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
A must do in Korea is a trip to the DMZ, even if it is a bit cheesier than you’d think. Get a look at one of the world’s tensest borders and step inside North Korea via the Join Security Area.
93. Tumuli Park
Home to quite a few royal burial tombs dating back to the Silla Dynasty, head in and see Korea’s own version of the pyramids. Cross the street and climb the free tomb park to get a view above.
94. Wolchulsan | Mt. Wolchul | Wolchul Mountain
Home to the Cloud Bridge, a beautiful, orange suspension bridge 122 m high, Wolchulsan makes for a beautiful hike in the countryside. The hike to the bridge is high, but not overly difficult (though beyond the peak is much harder), and the views over rice fields are breathtaking. Go in the fall to see them beginning to yellow… Read More
95. Wolseong Yangdong Village
One of Korea’ best kept and largest historical village, some of the houses date back to 200 years ago. Heck, even Prince Charles has popped in for a visit!
96. Woraksan National Park | Mt. Worak National Park | Worak Mountain National Park
In the middle of the country, this beautiful hike is definitely not an easy one. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike an unmarked trail… Read More
97. Yeongchuisan Valley | Mt. Yeongchui Valley | Yeongchui Mountain Valley
The Hedgers took me here when they showed me around Yeosu, and it just the loveliest. While, yes there is a mountain you can hike to, you can also relax in the streams below. It’s a beautiful area and perfect for when the summer heat starts to kick in.
98. Yeongduam Coast | Dragon Head Coast
This coastline is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon’s rock formations and looks like a dragon extending into the sea. Be careful to go at low tide, it’s closed off if the tide is too high.
99. Yongma Land
This abandoned amusement park is haunting in its own way! I don’t know that I’d explore alone (scary movies terrify me enough), but it does look like a fascinating place to spend the day… Read More
100. Yudalsan | Mt. Yudal | Yudal Mountain
One your way to Jeju, make sure to spend some time in Mokpo and take in the port city’s views. They’re the best scene with a small hike up Yudalsan where you can get a view of the sea and the city.
Even writing this list I’ve realized there are so many incredible places to visit in Korea that I have yet to go! Am I missing any? Who knows, there might have to be a part 2 someday!